Pawar calls for agriculture reforms

October 21st, 2011 - 10:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 21 (IANS) Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar Friday called for reforms in agricultural marketing to enable farmers to get best prices for their products.

The prevailing system of regulated markets under the Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act, 2003, was a constraint on farmers’ ability to sell their produce at the best prices, he said here.

Pawar was addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to the agriculture ministry.

The minister said large number of intermediaries and huge transaction costs such as market fee and entry tax make marketing reforms a priority.

He said: “We continue to pursue this with states and have achieved some success. The model Agriculture Produce Market Committee Act, 2003, has been adopted, to varying degrees, by 17 states. Nine states have also framed the rules. But there is no APMC Act in Bihar, Kerala, Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Lakshadweep.”

According to Pawar, “Farmers, specially small and marginal (ones), are unable to take advantage of the market system and often have to resort to distress sale. Access to safe and scientific storage facility, coupled with efficient credit is the solution.”

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